Erebus looks to international GT outings
Having conquered the weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Erebus Motorsport is looking to head offshore with its Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s in search of new endurance challenges.
The squad largely dominated its second attack on the once-around-the-clock Bathurst classic, winning by a lap with an all German crew of Bernd Schneider, Thomas Jaeger and Alexander Roloff.
A one-two finish had appeared to be on the cards until the penultimate hour when Lee Holdsworth damaged the pole-sitting car he was sharing with Tim Slade and Peter Hackett – dropping the trio to an eventual finishing position of sixth.
Erebus CEO Ryan Maddison confirmed to Speedcafe.com that his team is looking at an overseas assault, which is expected to include Asian GT3 events such as the Sepang 12 Hours.
“GTs are clearly very strong with endurance races,” Erebus CEO Ryan Maddison told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s a niche market and definitely something that our GT team wants to specialise in.
“We’re looking at not only the (Australian) GT Championship, but also at premier events or marquee events around the globe, more so in this market segment, meaning Asia, and potentially across as far as North America.
“There’s definitely an audience there. We think we’ve got a jewel in our crown with our two SLSs.
“Anyone that thinks we’re not committed to GT racing got a lesson at Bathurst,” he added when asked whether the team’s Gold Coast-based V8 Supercars campaign had changed its outlook on GT racing.
“The Clipsal 500 will be a proud moment for Erebus having six cars on track between our two GT cars, our Ute program and three V8 Supercars.”
The six-car Adelaide campaign may prove to be a one-off, however, with the SLSs thought unlikely to continue in the championship after the event.
The opening round of the 2013 AGTC season took place during the opening 50 minutes of the weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour, with VIP Petfoods Porsche drivers Klark Quinn and Shane van Gisbergen taking maximum points.
Maranello Motorsport’s Ferrari led the race at the 50 minute mark, but the 458 entry was handed a 30 second ‘seeding penalty’ for having a professional driver, Mika Salo, at the wheel during the opening stint.
The Salo/Peter Edwards/John Bowe/Allan Simonsen quartet therefore sit second in the standings ahead of Corvette drivers Jim Manolios, Greg Murphy and Ivan Capelli.
While a large AGTC field is set to compete in Adelaide, Roger Lago’s Lamborghini and Tony Quinn’s Aston Martin are both expected to miss the event after their Bathurst crash on Conrod Straight.